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Cattle, hog futures mixed heading into Friday

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle were mostly lower on technical selling, feeders were mixed adjusting spreads.  April live cattle closed $.15 lower at $162.15 and June lives closed $.10 lower at $155.80.  April feeder cattle closed $.62 higher at $195 and May feeders closed $.17 lower at $198.60. 

It was a relatively quiet day for direct cash cattle business following the active day on Wednesday.  There was some scattered trade that took place, fully steady with the week’s previous business. Deals this week have been marked at mostly $163 live, $1 lower than the prior week’s weighted averages, and $264 to $265 dressed, steady to $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.  While it’s likely the bulk of the week’s business has wrapped up, some cleanup trade could trickle in before the end of the day Friday.

At the Bloomfield Livestock Feeder Cattle Auction in Iowa, there was a lighter offering of steers, but they were met with a higher undertone.  Heifer offerings, mostly six-weight cattle, were met with a lower undertone on a lighter test.  The USDA says supply was moderate, which included several load lots of yearling cattle.  Demand was good.  Receipts were down from the most recent sale and on the year.  Feeder supply included 54% steers and 77% of the offering was over 600 pound.  Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 753 to 778 pounds brought $181 to $206.75 and feeder steers 836 to 842 pounds brought $175 to $194.85.  Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 612 to 648 pounds brought $190 to $196 and feeder heifers 668 to 697 pounds brought $170 to $188.50. 

Boxed beef closed mixed on light to moderate demand for moderate offerings.  Choice was $1.48 higher at $282.78 and Select was $.93 lower at $268.89.  The Choice/Select spread is $13.89. Estimated cattle slaughter was 124,000 head – up 1,000 on the week and up 2,000 on the year. 

Lean hog futures closed mixed adjusting spreads.  Concerns about long-term demand certainty continue.  April lean hogs closed $.32 lower at $75.75 and May lean hogs closed $.10 higher at $83.35. 

Cash hogs closed lower with a moderate run. The cash hog market continues its struggle to find consistent support.  Processors have been able to move solid numbers without having to bid up.  That’s likely due to the availability of market-ready hogs.  Demand has been relatively strong, but ongoing concerns about the state of the global economy has the industry worried about long-term demand certainty. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct closed $.92 lower with a base range of $71 to $79 and a weighted average of $76.71.  Prices at the Regional Direct Markets were not reported due to confidentiality. 

Butcher hog prices at the Midwest cash markets are $60.  At Illinois, slaughter sow prices were $3 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $45 to $57.  Barrows and gilts were $2 lower with moderate demand for moderate offerings at $46 to $58.  Boars ranged from $15 to $25 and $8 to $15. 

Pork values closed higher – up $.44 at $80.30.  Pork values ended the day higher.  Ribs and picnics were firm.  Hams, butts, and loins were lower. Estimated hog slaughter was 484,000 head – up 6,000 on the week and up 9,000 on the year. 

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